Monday, February 28, 2011

Breaking Cabin Fever

Contest Officially Closed

BREAKING CABIN FEVER
An Outdoors- Inspired Scavenger Hunt
Sponsored By

                                                  Magnum Boots          

                                                          
                                            SEEMZ Scent Elimination
                                                                
                                               Fish Creek Spinners

                                                   House of Jerky
                                          
Snow swirls outside, making the world look like vast tundra.  Venturing out for a carton of milk or some bread seems a daunting task in the bitter chill.  The only other alternative to adventuring outdoors is staying indoors, which can be as much, if not more so of a challenge.  But fear not, friends! The cure for your cabin fever is here!

Ben G. Outdoors, along with a handful of his best blogging buddies have teamed up to provide some entertainment to break this cabin fever that plagues so many of their chilly readers.  The rules are simple if you’ve ever taken part in a scavenger hunt.

On March 1st, Ben G. will be posting the first clue.  Once a participant finds the answer within his blog, then he or she will be directed to the next blog; so on and so forth. The following blogs will be participating in this scavenger hunt give-away.

The contest will conclude on March 10th.  Winners will be announced.  The prizes are as follows:
·         1st place:  A pair of Magnum boots Work Pro Ultra WPI CT, 50$ Bass Pro Gift Card and The Complete Trail Food Book - 300+ Recipes for Campers, Canoeists and Backpackers and one pack of HOJ Jerky*
·          
·         2nd place:  Flat Head deer poster and Cap 25$ Bass Pro gift card, SEEMZ Scent Elimination and one pack of HOJ Jerky*
·          
·         3rd place:  Fish Creek Spinners- 3 Trout lures with 3 bass lures, Catch of the Day - 200+ Recipes for the Everyday Angler*

For more information, check out http://beng-outdoors.blogspot.com!
Any questions, e-mail Ben directly!


Happy Searching and Good Luck!



The super fun and binding list of
rules and regulations:

·         Participant must live in the US and Canada to participate.

·         Contest begins March 1st and concludes March 10th, EST

·         Participant must be 18 years of age or older.

·         Only one entry per contestant.

·         Participant MUST leave comment with answers on starting blog.

·         Only participants that have provided an answer for each of the blogs may be eligible to win the aforementioned prizes. 


Check back tomorrow for more details!


** * Check out the attached links for product information! *

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sandstone Falls

I ran across this on Facebook today and while I can't say it's a " Reader contribution " , I can say that the photographer was kind enough to let me use the image. I've been planning to do an article about Sandstone Falls , but I just haven't had time to make the trip. Soon...

One of the most beautiful stretches of water in WV.
The Falls is one of my favorite places to fish. We've caught Smallmouth Bass , Walleye , Muskellunge ( Muskie ) , Catfish ( Flathead and Channel )  , Redeye ,and just about anything else you can think of fishing right below the drop. Good times!

I'd like to extend a BIG Thank You to reader G. for allowing me to use this picture of one of my favorite places.

Have a great week!

Daytona Beach in February

Just a quick post to share a few reader submitted photos from one of my follower's recent trip to Daytona Beach. I don't think anyone fished since they were down there for the race , but that is some pretty water! The stretch of beach in the photos is very flat , a lot flatter than anything I've fished. You would have to wade out a good ways to get a cast to some of the fishy looking spots , but I think it would be worth it!


Flat.

Good looking spot to the right , out behind the breakers.
This isn't helping my cabin fever.
A BIG Thank You to regular readers J. and L. for the cool beach pictures , it looks like you guys had a blast!

If you have anything you'd like to see here on Something's Fishy , I can always be reached through the Contact Us page.

Have a great day!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Making the Switch

I've been thinking about doing this for quite some time and today I finally took the plunge. Something's Fishy now has it's own dot com. This has a few advantages over having it hosted on Blogspot as a sub domain , but mainly it just makes it easier to tell people how to find it. Now it's www.somefishblog.com instead of the long and confusing http://somethingsfishy-jm.blogspot.com. The new web address is in a transitional phase right now , at least that's what Blogger says , but everything seems to be working just fine. Please let me know in the comments or on the contact form if you experience any issues related to this change.

I've also tinkered with the design layout just a bit to make things easier to find and easier on the eyes.

I've got big things coming up here on the blog in the future that should be a lot of fun. Of course , I need to get back to fishing and I'm going to do that soon. Right now I'm just excited about my own dot com for the blog. I'm considering getting it tattooed on my butt , but maybe that's taking it too far?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Outer Banks Red Drum Fishing

This video is a trailer of sorts from a DVD due to be released soon. I've yet to see anything new about a release date , but it will be an awesome video if this teaser is any indication. This was filmed by the guys over at Hatteras Island Fishing Militia , and they did a great job with it. Check out their site for everything you need to know about OBX fishing.



I'll post an update when I hear something new about the release date for the DVD. I know I want a copy! Be sure to check out FishMilitia.com for all the latest Outer Banks fishing info.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Go Check Out SoCalSalty!

OK , so everyone knows I've featured SoCalSalty here on the blog before. Salty  and I are on the same page when it comes to fishing and it's nice to have someone to link to that gives my readers a taste of West Coast fishing. Salty also spend a lot of time on the water fishing for deepwater species that make me jealous.

The cool thing I wanted to share today is a series of articles Salty wrote about his recent tour of the Accurate factory (Lucky dog). Accurate is changing the game when it comes to reel manufacturing. Their reels are beautiful to look at and from all reports great to fish with. I see one or two in my future.

You can find the first article here : Touring the Accurate Factory : Part I

The second here : Touring the Accurate Factory : Part II

And the last here : Touring the Accurate Factory : Part III

I'll let Salty fill you in on the details !

Have a great week!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Greenfish Writing Prompt From OBN

As most of you know , I'm a member of the Outdoor Blogger Network. Every week the kind folks at OBN post a " Writing Prompt " to help out outdoor bloggers who are strapped for ideas or who just want to participate as an active member of the community. I always enjoy reading what others write about the various weekly topics , but until now none of the weekly prompts have really interested me.

This week's writing prompt is different because it really hits home with me. Greenfish is an outdoor apparel company that is trying to :
1) Improve our fisheries and marine environments
2) Promote responsible and sustainable fishing techniques such as catch & release
3) Promote and protect the sport of recreational fishing for future generations to enjoy
 Sounds like a noble cause to me! While I don't practice catch and release one hundred percent of the time , I can certainly get on board with an organization that promotes responsible and sustainable fishing practices. Having said that , this blog entry is my submission for the GreenFish and Outdoor Blogger Network Writing Prompt Giveaway .

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Enjoying Some Time Outside

The weather here in Virginia has been great for this time of year over the last few days. Since I've had a bad case of cabin fever , I went out to enjoy the weather and let my dogs run around. I'm fortunate enough to have 3 ponds within walking distance of the house (OK a hundred yards or so from the house). I was able to make a few casts , but I struck out because the water is still too cold. The ponds all have bass and bluegills in them , with a few crappie and catfish thrown in to keep things interesting. I'm just glad I was able to get out for some fresh air and sunshine!

Click the read more link below to see some pictures. Nothing fancy , but it's close to home. There's also a couple of good looking dogs that had fun today.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Leaders for Surf Fishing

This article was originally published over on my other blog , Surf Fishing for Beginners . I think now is a good time to post it here on Something's Fishy , since I've been talking about line the past two days. Enjoy!

In my last post I discussed a few tips about fishing line used in the surf. Today , I'd like to cover some of the basics about the use of leaders in surf fishing.There are three general types of leaders that I use and they cover just about everything you'll need for most surf fishing applications.

The first and most important is the shock leader. The purpose of this leader is to prevent your main line from breaking during the cast. The heavier sinkers used to keep your bait in place , the long surf rods used and the powerful casts needed to get your bait out add up to broken lines and lost rigs without a shock leader. I use 50 pound monofilament for my shock leaders and never have any trouble. You can use 30 or 40 pound test for lighter weights , but I always go with 50 in case the surf picks up and I need to add more weight. A simple rule of thumb is to use 10 pounds of leader for every ounce of weight , but in my experience 50 pound line does well with up to 8 ounce sinkers.

To rig a  shock leader on your surf rod , you'll need a length of 50 pound test approximately twice the length of your rod. Length is a matter of personal preference because some surf fishermen like a longer or shorter leader , depending on how they cast. Most importantly , you want the leader to be wrapped around the spool at least 3 times at the start of your cast.This prevents the main line from breaking during the cast because the leader will absorb most of the stress. There are several knots you can use to attach the shock leader to the main line , but I recommend the Albright Knot because it passes through the guides during the cast better than others I have tried. After you have the leader set up , you can tie on the terminal tackle you need for your target species and you're ready to fish.

The second type of leader I use in the surf is what I call a bite leader. The purpose of this one is to prevent Bluefish and Spanish Mackerels from biting off your lures. You could use wire leaders , but they decrease the number of strikes you'll get and also affect the action of some lures. Spanish Mackerels are especially line shy if you're using wire leaders and to improve your chances , I recommend using 30 to 50 pound fluorocarbon for a bite leader.

These leaders are very simple to make. Just attach an 18-24 inch piece of heavy mono to the main line using an Albright knot and then tie whatever lure you want to the end of the leader. This is a great improvement over wire when it comes to spooking the fish , but you do have to monitor your leader closely because often Bluefish and other toothy fish will actually bite at the line. Keep an eye out for nicks and scrapes that could lead to break offs and retie as needed.

The third and last type of leader I use is single strand wire. I like size #5 , #6 or #7 for use in making King Mackerel/Cobia rigs or when rigging for sharks. These are pretty much a single use leader , because a big king or a shark will kink the wire. I normally just retie the leader after each fish , but the use of multi strand wire is gaining popularity with some anglers.

While you may not have a need for it , it's fairly easy to make wire leaders. Most people will attach a swivel to their shock leader and then use a Haywire Twist to connect the wire to the swivel and to the terminal tackle.

There are a lot of other options out there for leaders , but these have always worked for me. Most fishermen eventually find their own favorites , so don't be afraid to try something new!

Tight Lines!

Conratulations! You found the answer for the Breaking Cabin Fever Scavenger Hunt! The correct answer for Something's Fishy is The Haywire Twist. Now head on over to Bullets & Biscuits and find the answer to this question :

What's one type of mounting LB does not have in her collection of deer racks...and she grew bucks to get?

Thanks for playing and good luck!

Fishing Lines : Part 2

Yesterday I wrote an article about some of the pros and cons of the different types of lines available. In continuation of that train of thought , today I'd like to discuss how to spool up and how to take care of your line.

In my opinion , the absolute best way to spool any reel is by using a line winder. This especially true for spinning reels because you can remove the spool and wind the line on without the twisting that is normally caused by cranking the line onto the reel. Many tackle stores offer this service if you purchase line from them or for a small fee. As an added bonus , some of these tackle shops sell line by the foot or yard so you don't end up with excess line.

If you don't have access to a line winder , that leaves you with the task of cranking it on by hand. Simple enough , but there are a few things you can do to make it easier. Casting reels are by far the easiest to spool with line. Most everyone has cranked line onto a reel while a friend held the spool of line on a pencil and applied tension. This works perfectly for baitcasters and conventional reels , but I do not recommend it for spinning reels. For spinning reels it's best to lay the spool on the floor , label up. As you crank the line on , watch for twisting and turn the spool over as needed.

With monofilament and fluorocarbon lines it is very easy to attach the line to the spool. A simple Arbor Knot is all that is needed. When using braided line the Arbor knot will not hold securely to the spool , causing braided line to slip on most spools. I've seen some crazy ways people have tried to prevent this , such as Super Gluing the line to the spool or using duct tape to hold it in place. I do it a little differently. I tie a 5-6 ft. piece of 30 pound mono to the braided line using an Albright knot and then tie the mono to the spool using the Arbor knot. This has always worked quite well for me because the Arbor knot works just fine with mono. Another option that I have seen used on larger reels is to use monofilament as backing and then put the braid on top. I never do this because the braid will cut into the mono when you have a big fish on.

After I've filled the spool , I always like to stretch the line. I do this by attaching the line to a snap swivel and then clipping the snap onto a swivel I have on a key ring. This puts two swivels at the end of the line and lets any twists in the line work their way out. You can have a friend hold the key ring or you can hang it on a nail. I always try to get at least 60-70 yards of line off of the spool and then I pull back on the rod to put a good bend in it. This stretches the line and eliminates the memory in the line. After I've stretched it , I keep pressure on the line with the rod as I reel it back onto the spool.

Lately , I've been using Reel Magic on my spool after I've stretched the line. It seems to help with memory and it seems to help the line last a little bit longer. I give the line a good soaking with this product and set it aside to dry. It may or may not actually be doing anything , but it seems to work for me. I'd love to hear anyone's experiences or opinions about Reel Magic.

When I used to fish for Striped Bass almost every day here on Smith Mountain Lake , it was nothing for me to have to change line on my best reels 2 or 3 times a week. Catching big fish can be hard on your line! It's best to keep a close eye on your line for nicks and abrasions that can cause you to lose fish. Sunlight also destroys fishing line , so it's best to keep your reels out of direct sunlight when not in use.

I always like hearing other people's tips and tricks for handling and using fishing line , so if you have anything to add put it in the comments below!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fishing Lines : Part 1

Fishing line , something I love and also something I love to hate. Good line spooled correctly and taken care of is a joy to use. Bad line with lots of memory and twisted because of poor installation can ruin even the best day of fishing. Handling line can be frustrating at times , but with a little bit of effort and a few simple steps you can tame even the most twisted line.

There are many different kinds of fishing line. The manufacturers have tinkered with the formula for monofilament to produce some great lines and also introduced ultra clear fluorocarbon lines and high tech braided line. All of these lines have certain applications at which they excel , though there is a certain sacrifice involved when using a particular type of line.

A few notes about fishing line :
   
    * Pound test refers to the average breaking point of the line. This system is falling out of favor with many anglers because of the new super lines. Line diameter is becoming more important in the eyes of many.
    * Memory is a term used to describe how much a type of line tries to retain it's shape after being on a spool. The line " remembers " being wrapped around the spool and has coils in it from it's time on the spool. Higher quality lines usually have less memory.
    * Stretch is used in reference to how much a type of line will stretch during the hookset or when you are snagged. Some people prefer no stretch line and some prefer line with a little bit of give.

Basic monofilament is probably the most widely used type of fishing line. It is made by several different manufacturers and comes in several colors. It is available in high and low visibility colors and in pound sizes ranging from tiny trout fishing tippets to large saltwater trolling lines. Monofilament is generally cheaper than other types of line , and for this reason alone it is a staple of most fishermen's tackle boxes. Almost all of the common knots will work fine with mono and it's very easy to work with. It is a great all around line , but many don't like the memory and stretch of monofilament.

Fluorocarbon lines are a fairly recent innovation in fishing line. They are virtually invisible underwater and help when the fish have been pressured into being line shy. I have mainly used fluorocarbon as a leader , though there are some fishermen who use it as a main line. For me , fluorocarbon line seems to have too much memory and is prone to twisting. It can also be difficult to tie knots with , especially when it is cold. Like monofilament , fluorocarbon is available in a wide variety of sizes , but color choices are mainly limited to clear. Berkley Vanish is available in a tinted color to make it easier for the angler to see , but it is still supposed to be " invisible " to the fish. Fluorocarbon is great for conditions that dictate the use of nearly invisible line. Less stretch than mono , but more memory in my opinion.

The braided super lines take things to the next level. They are very tough with no stretch and resist abrasions that often ruin monofilament. They are also very sensitive , letting you feel every little nibble at the end of your line. What braided line gains in sensitivity and toughness it loses to visibility. Braided line is very visible to the fish , often making the use of a leader necessary. It also requires the use of certain knots because old standby's like the improved cinch knot simply will not hold with braided line. I love using it to fish lures , but I try not to use it any time when snags are possible. Some people are the opposite and like to use it to fish in heavy cover , but for me I like to be able to break my line if I'm stuck in an impossible snag. Breaking braided line can be hard on your rods/reels and also on your hands. Braided line is great for situations where you want the most solid hooksets and longer casts.

More on line later today or early tomorrow after I get a chance to take a few pictures. Feel free to post a comment about why you like or dislike any of the types of line discussed above.

Have a great day!

Bulldog Blackfish

I've got big plans to go on a couple of charters this year and see if I can catch a few deep water species. It's something I'm not very familiar with , so naturally I've been doing some reading about what we have the opportunity to catch here on the East Coast. The Tautog or Blackfish is a species that I have read several articles about and one that I hope to get my hands on in the near future. EarthSports.com has a great article up today about fishing for Bulldog Blackfish in the 17 fathom area southwest of Jones Inlet. Check it out!

Bulldog Blackfish

By Tom Schilcter

The way I figure it, if I'm going to battle the wind and cold of late winter on the water with fishing rod in hand, there had better either be a cooler of cod at end of the rainbow or a shot at trophy blackfish that will bring a season's worth of bragging rights over my fishing cronies...


Continue reading HERE

Wish me luck when I get a chance to go togging this year!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The World's Ugliest Fish?

One of the great things about saltwater fishing is the wide variety of species that can be caught. The fish range from the handsome Striped Bass to crazy looking deepwater species like the Blobfish and the Patagonian Toothfish. It can resemble a circus sideshow of freaky looking fish at times. I've always enjoyed seeing just what will come from the water next. Of course , ugly doesn't mean that the fish will taste bad - you just have to know how to clean them! I've got another great article from EarthSports.com that features one of the ugliest of the ugly.

The World's Ugliest Fish?

by Lenny Rudow

If you pull this up on the end of your line, your gut reaction might be to run for the hills. But believe it or not, even though the angler fish (also known as monkfish or goosefish) is one of the world’s ugliest fish, it’s also one of the tastiest. In fact, you’ll find it in some seafood markets called “poor man’s lobster.”
Continue reading this article HERE

There's also a picture of big ugly , and I promise it's a face only a mother could love!

Have a great week!

1,000 Pound Hammerhead Shark

This is another video from Captain Ben Chancey showing a fight with a massive Hammerhead Shark! Captain Chancey runs the Chew On This Fishing Show. Go check out some of his great videos on Youtube!





Have a great week!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Seasick? Cure Spontaneous Chumming

I've been fortunate enough to never suffer from seasickness , but I know a lot of people who are very prone to this ailment. There are several different ways to combat seasickness and a few things you can do to help prevent it. Today , I have another great article courtesy of EarthSports.com that will help you minimize the impact of seasickness on your next offshore trip.

Seasick? Cure Spontaneous Chumming

by John Unkart

First, a nauseous feeling swells over the body. Then moisture begins to gather in the mouth, followed by a miniature eruption down in the pit of the stomach. A moment later as you hang over the transom, a perfectly good breakfast is wasted and the thought crosses your mind: “has anyone died from being seasick?” Well, no one has died to my knowledge—although I’ve watched hundreds of anglers wish they were dead!

Continue reading this great article HERE!

Be sure to visit EarthSports.com for all of the latest fishing news!

Monday, February 7, 2011

ORV Access on the Outer Banks

This is an article I've shied away from for quite a while , but today I'm going to get it out on the table. ORV access at Cape Hatteras National Seashore is under attack by environmental groups. This is one of the traditional uses of the beach on the OBX , and today I want to discuss a few of the arguments and points of contention that are being discussed and fought over in the courts.

First , a disclaimer : I don't have anything personal against any of the groups I plan to discuss today. I'm sure they have done good deeds in a few places around the country. That said , they have waged a war against the people and fishermen of the Outer Banks based on (my opinion) unsound science and misguided attempts to preserve species that have questionable chances for survival on the beach , with or without ORV use.

I think it's best to put a break here so I don't unintentionally offend anyone. If you care to read what I have to say on this subject , click the " Read More " link below. If you don't want to see the Audubon Society , the NPS and the SELC discussed in unfavorable terms , browse through some of our older articles or come back later for more fishing related articles. I do hope you'll click through and read what has happened to the wonderful people of the OBX. They need our help!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday Shout Out #2

A few weeks back I did an article titled "A Sunday Shout Out" that featured a blog I really like called SoCalSalty. Today , I'm back with another great blog that I think is worth your time.


Justin from the blog Foggy Mountain Meanderings hails from my home state of West Virginia and writes about some of the great hunting and fishing oppurtunities in and around the Appalachian Mountains. Justin and I have fished some of the same water over the years , though never together.

As you can see above ,  Justin has some great trail cam shots that he posts and he writes a wide variety of hunting and fishing articles. He's even hinted at doing an article about ramps , a true WV delicacy!
Courtesy of Foggy Mountain Productions
Go check out some of the great articles and awesome pictures of West Virginia at her finest at Foggy Mountain Meanderings!

Have a great week!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Barracuda on the Flats

Here's another great article from EarthSports.com

Barracuda on the Flats

Half the time they look like floating logs, suspended in the water and barely swimming, but when a barracuda decides to move, it moves. So fast that, if you’re a baitfish, the carnage may be over before you know what hit you. If you’re an angler stalking the flats of Florida in the wintertime, though, sight fishing for cudas can be one of the most exciting games in town. If you have the patience for it.


Read more here


Be sure to check out the rest of the great articles over at EarthSports.com!

Tuna Fishing from Back in the Day

This is the kind of fishing I dream about.....



How crazy would that be? Looks fun to me!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Welcome Back , Cod!

This article is courtesy of EarthSports.com . They have tons of great articles like this one that feature great information for both fresh and saltwater fishermen.

Welcome Back, Cod!

By Tom Schlichter

The bite was smokin’ in the waters southeast of Block Island, RI, as I iced my limit of 10 tasty codfish by 1:00 p.m. After a sluggish start to the morning, the last four drops of my line had seen six keepers hit the planks aboard the open boat Miss Montauk. On the top deck, Captain Jamie Quaresimo was all smiles.

"It gets even better than this," he called out, "Yesterday, we limited the boat by 9:30 a.m.!" It was cod fishing at its finest.

Read More at EarthSports.com